A recent wiredFINANCE piece about a Symantec study on the lack of disaster preparedness among small and midsize businesses (SMBs) reported that half of those surveyed lacked a disaster preparedness plan and almost 15% have no plans to create one. Disaster preparedness in this case focuses on data and systems protection and recovery.
Of those that don't have a plan, 52% didn't think computer systems were critical to the business. Forty-one percent of those said it never occurred to them to put together a plan, and 40% said disaster preparedness was not a priority. Maybe the biggest reason companies refuse to undertake data protection, observes industry storage analyst Greg Schulz, senior analyst, StorageIO, Stillwater, MN, is that they don't believe a problem will ever occur.
Putting aside the question of whether these respondents are foolish, reckless, cheap, or lazy managers, many organizations may not take steps to backup their data because of the perceived difficulty and costs involved. However, the IT industry has taken steps to simplify backup and lower the cost. Now managers have a number of easy, less expensive backup options.
The options for SMBs generally fall into two categories: cloud-based backup and recovery solutions or backup storage appliances. Prices for either generally revolve around the amount of data being protected. For many SMBs, 2-5 TB will be more than enough.
Leading cloud providers include:
Asigra, which provides an easy-to-deploy agentless offering
Double-Take, which replicates your critical data to the cloud
IBM, which focuses on midsize organizations
EMC Mozy, which began as a small office/home office (SOHO) offering but is moving up the food chain
Carbonite, similar to EMC Mozy
Backup and recovery to the cloud is simple. All that's needed at your organization is some small piece of code provided by the vendor that talks to the backup system and tells it what data is being backed up. From there the service takes over, and you don't have to think about it.
Larger organizations may prefer backup appliances. These, essentially, are pre-configured disk-based storage devices that plug into your network, find your servers, and back them up to disk on your premises. Often they involve deduplication but as an appliance, you don't even see it. Again, easy to deploy; plug it in and forget about it.
Most of the big IT vendors offer a backup appliance, including:
HP offers a full line of disk-based appliances
IBM ProtecTIER Express makes extensive use of deduplication
EMC provides a solution for SMBs through its Avamar division
Symantec offers the NetBackup appliance line
NetApp provides its NearStore line of products
Search Google for SMB backup and you will get 2 million hits. Scroll through until you find one that suits your organization and budget. With the cloud and appliances, cost and complexity should no longer be a barrier to data protection.